Armin Augstein, who allegedly found the laptop while walking his dog and turned it over to police, filed suit against Leslie in Manhattan federal court, claiming the “Diamond Girl” hitmaker ignored his repeated emails about recovering the stolen item. Now a judge has ruled for Augstein, ordering Leslie to pay out the $1 million reward.
""Ain't no way to get around ups & downs." Jury of my peers rules for the plaintiff," Leslie wrote on Twitter following the verdict.
Leslie, who was touring Germany in October (2010) when his MacBook was stolen, initially offered $20,000 for the return of the device. He later raised the reward to $1 million, writing on Twitter: "For the record, I had so many amazing music & visual projects on that MacBook that I was working on to share with u this winter."
Additionally, he released a message of plea via Facebook and Youtube stating: "I lost my computer out here in Germany. I actually had my whole new album on there, which I had been working on in secret, and it got stolen. So right now I got a million-dollar reward for anybody that can return my intellectual property to me.”
According to the New York Post, the jury thought a $1 million pay out was too high, but in the end, agreed, after Augstein and his lawyers refused to settle.
"No one forced him to make an offer of so much money for a finder's fee,” Augstein told the Post. “It seems like he believes that that which he promised, he doesn’t have to live up to."
$20K to a million is a big jump! We're guessing Ryan is pretty upset, but it makes for a great song.